It can sometimes be daunting to walk into an unfamiliar building for the first time. What can you expect if you come to Grace Baptist Church Portsmouth?
You will be greeted warmly at the door by the steward.
You will be given a hymn book and a Bible. You don’t have to bring anything.
You also don’t have to give anything. No collection is taken up during the Service, so there is no awkward fumbling in pockets or peer pressure to give money.
You can sit anywhere you feel comfortable – the Steward will help you if you are not sure where to go.
The Service will begin promptly with some notices from the Secretary.
The Service will be led by the minister. He will:
Announce all the hymns (normally there are 4), which the congregation stand to sing.
Pray aloud, whilst the congregation remain seated and follow the prayer in their thoughts.
Read a passage or two from the Bible.
Preach a sermon for about 30 minutes.
In all, the Service lasts about 60-75 minutes.
It will be very obvious to you when to sit or stand, and what to do when. You will be part of a congregation, so you can just follow everyone else.
Twice a month there is the Lord’s Supper or communion, when Christians share bread and wine as symbols of Jesus’ dying for their sins. This makes the Service a little longer. If you are not a believer you should not take the bread and wine – just let them pass you by without embarrassment – but you are very welcome to remain present to watch and learn.
At the end of the Service there are some refreshments, to which you are cordially invited.
When you leave Grace Baptist Church Portsmouth, our hope is that you will have been treated with warmth and kindness, but also respect as a private individual.